22 December 2010

Merry Two Days Before Christmas

I wanted to throw that out there, you know. In case I explode from all the Christmas surrounding me.

I've decided to extend the contest til after Christmas, since THAT will be when I procure a $50 B&N gift card. Oh yes. It will be glorious. Like Christmas after Christmas or something.

ANYWAY, I do have something real to discuss with you, and I maaay have talked about it before, but since I have a memory the size of a pea, I don't know. Bear with me, those who have been with me for a while, because you might be getting a repeat dose of...whatever this turns into.

You see, dear readers, I have this nasty NASTY NASTY habit of comparing myself to other writers. Not necessarily people who have already been published, but people who have partials or fulls out with agents. You see, I have only a microscopic amount of faith in my talent (when I'm sober at least), and sometimes, when I see one of my writer friends at QT announce their partial or full is with an agent, I have simultaneous reactions of OMG THAT'S FABULOUS I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU and *Slump* Obviously you're a much better writer than I am, so what am I really doing? I can't even get an agent to say yes.

That, my friends, is ungood.

Here's the thing that I've forced myself to realize, and the thing I must constantly remind myself of. The agenting/publishing game is a crapshoot. I know that my repped and soon-to-be-published and already-published comrades can attest to that. There's skill and luck involved with landing an agent/publisher's interest. One of the problems, aside from JUST NOW getting a super-awesome query (thanks again, y'all), is that SF is just not selling that well right now. I read on Pimp My Novel that a lot of women (majority of book-buyers) don't gravitate to Science Fiction, and I can understand why. Even though I love the genre, I love hard science fiction like FlashForward. I'm not a huge space SF fan. I don't get into the aliens and whatnot that much, unless the story is just ridiculously well-crafted. I love the stuff that could actually happen, and that's what made me read The Island of Dr. Moreau when I was still in school. And honestly, most people associate Science Fic with spacey stuff like Star Trek. And I don't know a whole lot of women who are in lurve with Star Trek (aside from roommate).

*Ok. Let's get back on track.*

The numbers for my genre aren't great right now. But the great thing is that numbers are always subject to change, which is why I'm going to continue querying Duality. I love the story, and I keep hearing from women who've read my query that, though they don't read SF, they'd probably pick my book up. *Which is EXCITING* Do I think that Duality will revolutionize the way women approach SF? Heck no. I'll be thrilled to death just to see it on shelves, and perhaps in someone's hand at a coffee shop someday. But if I can change someone's perception of SF just through the 114,000 words I've labored over, then I'll feel accomplished.

Ok. Really getting back on track now.

Here's my point (I really need to learn to focus these posts, jeez). There are a million and one reasons why someone's getting representation when you're not. Seriously. Sometimes you're betting on the red square, and the agent wants the black square (back to gambling references...yay....). Sometimes the cards aren't in your genre's favor and only an agent with a severe passion for that genre will take a chance. Sometimes, you get an agent on the wrong day. Sometimes, you need to refocus on your project (otherwise known as the dreaded "querying too soon") or rework your query to make it stronger. And then sometimes you just need to shelve the project. It hurts, but it's true. And that doesn't mean that you can't come back to it at a later date. A friend of mine who just got repped a few months back is getting her shelved project into her agent's hands as well (totally exciting!). So there's always the potential for success. You just have to keep at it. And the best way to do that is NOT to compare yourself to your friends who are having better luck. Keep writing, keep improving, and keep trying. Those are the key tenets to a writing career.

Also, have faith in yourself. No one can do this for you.

And you've come this far, so don't give up.

PS. Don't forget about the SocialVibe thing, either. Easy way to give back!

(And this was my 100th blog post! Woo hoo!)


Deb Salisbury said...

I agree. No matter how frustrating or discouraging the hunt becomes. Don't give up!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a successful New Year!

lexcade said...

Yes, ma'am! You never know when things will change.

Merry Christmas to you as well, Deb, and happy New Year!!!!!!! May 2011 be waaaaaaaaaay better than 2010...

Tracy said...

I do the same thing. It's natural to feel like "what am I doing wrong"? But you're right, there are far too many reasons (beyond our control) that go into the when and where.

There is a flip side of the coin to your SF isn't selling well at the moment. I write paranormal and that IS selling really well at the moment. So well, in fact, that everyone and their mother is submitting manuscripts to agents in that genre. So for me, it's proving a LOT harder to stand out in the stacks of thousands of others doing the same genre as me.

That's why we gotta keep the faith. :D

Merry Christmas, lex!

lexcade said...

I concur, Tracy. We just gotta work on standing out from either a lackluster crowd, or one so inundated with people that agents are pulling their hair out ;)

But we can do it. Because we're awesome like that.

Keep on, keepin' on, Sistah!

And Merry Christmas!

Chris Phillips said...

Happy Christmas and congrats on 100 posts.

lexcade said...

Thanks, Chris! :) Hope you're feeling better for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!